Isuzu UTE A-League R22 Preview: Wanderers out for revenge while deadly duo come face-to-face

Round 22 of the Isuzu UTE A-League season kicks off this Friday night! Ahead of the action, previews all six of the contests.

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Friday, 7:45pm (AEDT): Adelaide United v Western United

Adelaide’s 1-0 win over the Jets last time out not only breathed a small amount of life into their fading finals hopes but also ensured they brought an end to their wretched run of form.

Before that away victory at McDonald Jones Stadium, Carl Veart’s side had gone seven games without a win including a run of four-straight losses before finally securing three points.

However that mid-season slump has certainly proven to be somewhat costly with regards to their finals chances and the Reds now sit ninth on the ladder, NINE points behind the Wanderers who occupy sixth place.

As for Western United, a four-game unbeaten run has seen John Aloisi’s team close the gap to 11th placed Newcastle Jets down to just a point.

Furthermore Western have also played a game less than their nearest and dearest on the ladder and while they may be too far detached from the top six to seriously contend for finals football, a win over the Reds will be enough to make them dream with what would be five games remaining.

In terms of their recent records its the Reds who boast the better head-to-head having won four of the last five meetings while the away side has also been victorious in the last four matches.


  • Adelaide United: L – L – L – L – W
  • Western United: L – D – W – W – D


  • Adelaide United: 9th
  • Western United: 12th


  • Adelaide United have scored five penalties this A-League Men season, the joint most of any team (Central Coast Mariners – 5); Western United FC have only conceded two penalties so far this season.
  • Western United FC have only lost one of their last six A-League Men matches (W3 D2) and have not conceded a first-half goal in that span; though, they’ve gone on to keep only two clean sheets in that frame.


Saturday, 5:30pm (AEDT): Melbourne City v Newcastle Jets

Melbourne City will be hoping to apply more pressure to their finals rivals on Saturday evening when they welcome a beleaguered Newcastle Jets side to AAMI Park.

A win over the Jets will see them climb above both Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC on the ladder to sit in fifth position albeit the Sky Blues kick off later on Saturday evening against the Mariners.

Buoyed by back-to-back wins against top six sides Wellington and the Wanderers, City will be full of confidence going into the game given they face a Newcastle side without a win in eight matches – their last victory coming back in January against Brisbane Roar.

Finals football was always going to be a big ask for Rob Stanton’s side this season but if they are to make a miraculous charge into the top six then they will have to win all of their five remaining matches this season, three of which are against current top six sides.

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One standout for the Jets this campaign has been the former of striker Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, who with 14 goals to his name currently sits one behind Bruno Fornaroli and Adam Taggart at the top of the charts with 15 goals apiece.

Furthermore, Stamatelopoulos (14) is two away from equaling the record for the most goals by a Newcastle Jets player in an A-League Men season (16 – Adam Taggart in 2013/14).


  • Melbourne City: D – D – L – W – W
  • Newcastle Jets: L – D – L – D – L


  • Melbourne City: 7th
  • Newcastle Jets: 11th


  • Melbourne City FC have had 73 big scoring chances this A-League Men season, the most of any team, but their conversion rate of 31.5% is the second lowest of any team.
  • Lucas Mauragis (Newcastle Jets) has recorded 17 successful crosses from open play since the start of 2024, the second most behind Joe Lolley (Sydney FC – 19).


Saturday, 7:45pm (AEDT): Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners

A mouthwatering match-up takes place on Saturday evening at Allianz Stadium as Sydney FC host Premier’s Plate chasing Central Coast Mariners.

Undoubtedly still stinging from their narrow loss to Wellington Phoenix before the international break, Sydney FC will look to bounce back to winning ways and know victory over the Mariners will see them climb above Melbourne Victory and into fourth on the ladder, albeit Victory can reclaim that position on Sunday.

Prior to that 2-1 defeat in New Zealand, Ufuk Talay’s Sydney side had been one of the form teams in the competition having gone eight games unbeaten.

As part of that run, Sydney secured an impressive 3-1 away win at the home of the Mariners back in February and have actually won four of the last five games against the coasties.

As for the Mariners, Mark Jackson’s side have enjoyed a well earned rest following their recent Isuzu UTE A-League and AFC Cup commitments, with their last competitive game of football coming away in India on March 14 where they drew 0-0 with Odisha FC, thus securing safe passage through to AFC Inter-Zonal Final.

Central Coast were sat on top of the league ladder heading into the last round of fixtures however the fact they weren’t in action allowed Wellington Phoenix to capitalise, meaning the Mariners now sit second on the ladder and three points behind the ‘Nix, albeit having played a game fewer.

Despite that break though the Mariners are certainly still the team to stop at present having won their last four matches in a row, three of which were against sides in the top six.


  • Sydney FC: W – D – W – D – L
  • Central Coast Mariners: L – W – W – W – W


  • Sydney FC: 5th
  • Central Coast Mariners: 2nd


  • Sydney FC have only lost one of their last seven A-League Men matches at Allianz Stadium (W4 D2), they have taken a half-time lead in each of those wins; though, they’ve kept only one clean sheet in that term.
  • Central Coast Mariners have a dribble success rate of 51.8%, the best rate in the competition and they have only been dribbled past on 177 occasions, the second fewest in the competition (Western Sydney Wanderers FC – 162).


Sunday, 11am (AEDT): Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar

Depending on what happens in the Sydney v Central Coast clash the night before, Giancarlo Italiano’s Wellington side could wake up sat second on the ladder or with the chance to go six points clear at the top.

The ‘Nix bounced back to winning ways before the international break, banishing any memories of their disappointing 1-0 loss to Melbourne City by securing the big scalp of Sydney FC at Auckland’s Eden Park.

That result, coupled with the Mariners not playing, ensured the Phoenix would sit top of the table during the international period, no doubt giving Italiano and his side an extra spring in their step as they continued to work throughout the break.

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When it comes to facing Brisbane Roar, the next already dispatched the Queenslanders 5-2 when they met earlier in the season care of an Oskar Zawada hat-trick however bad news has filtered out of the Wellington camp this week regarding their star-striker, who now looks set to miss the remainder of the season due to injury.

Brisbane Roar arrive in New Zealand having lost their last game in the Isuzu UTE A-League against Macarthur FC, a result which put a dent in Ruben Zadkovich’s hopes of qualifying for the finals.

Currently occupying eighth spot on the ladder, the Roar now find themselves four points off sixth spot whilst they’ve also played a game more than finals-chasing Melbourne City who sit one place ahead of them.

Furthermore, Brisbane’s recent record in this fixture doesn’t make for good reading given they’ve won just once in their last seven meetings. (2D, 4L)


  • Wellington Phoenix: W – D – W – L – W
  • Brisbane Roar: L – D – W – D – L


  • Wellington Phoenix: 1st
  • Brisbane Roar: 8th


  • Wellington Phoenix have conceded three first-half goals since the start of 2024, the fewest of any team, and are undefeated when they’ve conceded a first-half goal this year (W2 D1).
  • Brisbane Roar FC duo Jay O’Shea (650) and Kai Trewin (570) have made more forward passes than any other players in the 2023/24 A-League Men.


Sunday, 3:00pm (AEDT): Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory

No doubt still stinging from their 2-2 draw with Western United last time out, Melbourne Victory have the chance to put things right when they face Perth Glory in Round 22.

A 90th minute equaliser from Western’s Ben Garuccio meant the points were shared at AAMI Park, preventing Tony Popovic’s side from claiming back-to-back wins in the Isuzu UTE A-League and subsequently allowing Macarthur FC to leapfrog them into third on the ladder.

That draw for Victory was their 11th of the campaign – three more than the next closest side in the competition – but a win over Perth could potentially see them finish the round in third place and even close the gap to second pending results elsewhere.

In some good news for the club, French import Zinedine Machach has committed his long-term future to the club, penning a new two-year deal to remain in Victory colours.

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Playing at home, Victory’s recent record at AAMI Park doesn’t make for spectacular viewing given they’ve won just one of their last six home matches but when you compare that to Perth’s away record then it’s clear Popovic’s side are the strong favourites for this contest.

In fact, Perth have won just ONE of their last 21 Isuzu UTE A-League matches away from home, keeping just one clean sheet in the process.

Having steadily risen up the table off the back of a six-game unbeaten run, Alen Stajcic’s side have now tasted defeat twice in the space of three matches after losing to both Western United and Western Sydney Wanderers respectively.

Furthermore, their current run of four matches without a win has seen them fall behind the finals-chasing pack and they now sit 10 points behind the Wanderers who currently occupy that all important sixth position.

However, with Adam Taggart in such scintillating form Glory are capable of beating anyone and the 30-year-old will be hoping to pull clear of Victory’s Bruno Fornaroli in the race for the Golden Boot, with both men currently sat level on 15 goals for the season.


  • Melbourne Victory: W – L – L – W – D
  • Perth Glory: W – D – L – D – L


  • Melbourne Victory: 4th
  • Perth Glory: 10th


  • Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory have picked up 13 points from losing positions this A-League Men season, tied with Macarthur for the most by any team.
  • Perth Glory have scored 28 goals in the second halves of games in the 2023/24 A-League Men season, the most of any team in the competition, while Melbourne Victory (17) have conceded the third-fewest goals during this period of any team.


Monday, 3:00pm (AEDT): Macarthur FC v Western Sydney Wanderers

It’s sure to be an Easter Monday cracker as Macarthur FC host the Wanderers in a Western Sydney Derby at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

The home side came out on top in a 4-3 thriller the last time these two sides met as Bulls striker Valere Germain scored a 93rd minute winner to seal his hat-trick and the win against a 10-man Wanderers side.

In what will be their 50th home Isuzu UTE A-League clash, Macarthur know a win over the Wanderers will guarantee they finish the round in third place, further strengthening their chances of a top four finish with just four games left to play.

Should he start the contest, Bulls captain Ulises Davila will make his 100th starting appearance in the competition and is enjoyed another productive campaign having scored eight goals, registering four assists.

As for Western Sydney, Marko Rudan’s side ended a poor run of form last time out, securing an impressive 2-1 win away at Perth Glory.

Prior to that the Wanderers had suffered three defeats in a row, shipping 14 goals in the process and subsequently fell out of the top six only to recapture their spot in the finals places care of that win at HBF Park.

Should the Wanderers be able to make it back-to-back wins this weekend then they could well leapfrog rivals Sydney FC on the ladder, but more importantly, they could extend their lead over 7th placed Melbourne City to five points should results go their way over the weekend.

Macarthur FC have scored 13 goals in the last 15 minutes this season, the most of any team, Western Sydney Wanderers FC have conceded 10 goals in that period, tied for the third most (Perth Glory, Western United and Adelaide United also 10) behind (Brisbane Roar FC and Newcastle Jets – 12).


  • Macarthur FC: L – D – W – L – W
  • Western Sydney Wanderers: W – L – L – L – W


  • Macarthur FC: 3rd
  • Western Sydney Wanderers: 6th


  • Filip Kurto (Macrthur FC) has a 74.5% save percentage this A-League Men season, the second highest of any goalkeeper behind only Alex Paulsen (80%); in fact, Kurto’s 108 total saves are the most of any player.
  • Western Sydney Wanderers have scored 15 headed goals this A-League Men season, which is the highest amount in the competition and seven more than the next best team (Adelaide United – 8).